Community Notices

Covid closes Hopkins schools Nov. 11-12, 22-26

Hopkins Public Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday this week because of an increase of Covid-19 cases for students and staff.

Superintendent Gary Wood announced the move today in a communication to parents.

Wayland statistics also showed an uptick in cases Wednesday, but there has been no official announcement.

The Hopkins superintendent wrote:

“Over the past several weeks we have experienced a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases, health department quarantines and other illnesses, which has resulted in severe attendance and staff shortage issues.

“On Tuesday, Nov. 9, 25% of the students from Hopkins Elementary and Hopkins Middle School were absent due to illness/quarantine. In addition to student absences, the district as a whole has also been faced with an increase in staff absences due to illness.

“As a result of these challenges, Hopkins Public Schools will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 11, and Friday, Nov. 12, (all after school activities will also be cancelled on these days).

“If you would like meals on Thursday and Friday please sign up… Meals can be picked up at the high school cafeteria on Thursday morning between 8 and 9:30 a.m.

For the week of Nov. 15-19 only, masks will be required to be worn throughout the district while indoors. This will reduce the number of people who need to quarantine, according to the Allegan County Health Department guidance. Masks will remain optional at athletics and extracurricular activities occurring outside of the traditional school day.

“There will be no school the week of Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving Week). This will give our families a nine-day break and hopefully allow us to have a reset to continue in a more normal mode when school resumes on Nov. 29. When students return on Nov. 29, mask wearing will be recommended, but not required.

“The current quarantine rules allow for close contacts to remain in school while monitoring their symptoms if both the positive case and close contact were masked. Taking advantage of this health department rule in the short term will allow for more students to attend school and for far fewer student quarantines that may impact holiday plans.”

Retired Hopkins Elementary Principal Mary Howard commented on Facebook, in response to inquiries about shutting down two days, returning for a week, and then shutting down again Nov. 22-26: “…just an educated guess here, but I’m thinking they will clean the next two days and since there are only two days of school the week of Thanksgiving anyway, they are erring on the side of caution and giving everyone a full week to get healthy. I heard of one class with only six students today. At a certain point/percentage the state does not allow a district to count a day.”

Meanwhile, there were 15 cases of students or staff identified with Covid Wednesday at Wayland. Highest numbers were four at Pine Street Elementary and four at the high school.


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